Washington State to Use Facebook for Voter Registration

Wednesday, 18 Jul 2012 02:34 PM

By Katie Lotman

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Unregistered voters in the state of Washington will be able to register to vote through an application on Facebook expected to launch next week, according to the secretary of state’s office.

The application, which has been a year in the making, will allow Facebook users to let the site access their information to prefill basic information on the voter registration form. Users will then enter a driver’s license or state ID number. After registration the user can ‘like’ the application or recommend it to their friends.

"In this age of social media and more people going online for services, this is a natural way to introduce people to online registration and leverage the power of friends on Facebook to get more people registered," said Shane Hamlin, the co-director of elections in Washington State to Forbes.

Although Washington State, along with over twelve other states, has offered online registration since 2008, Washington is the first to offer it through Facebook. In addition to registration, the application will also provide information about each candidate.

Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes said, “We are excited that citizens in Washington state will be able to register to vote and review useful voting information on Facebook.”

Washington officials and Facebook spokesmen assure users that the new application will not compromise their privacy. Facebook is simply the platform for the application, so it does not have access to the information provided to the state’s database.



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